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STOCK WATCH

April 26, 1987|Robert Hanley

Looking for a good short? Ursae Majoris, editor of the Overpriced Stock Service, has a suggestion.

"Financial Corp. of America is a stock you have to short just for the amusement value. The fact that it is also dropping is incidental," says Ursae Majoris--Latin for "big bear" and the pseudonym under which the stock letter's editor publishes his tome.

For instance, he says, the Irvine-based parent of American Savings & Loan Assn., the nation's largest thrift, last month denied and then confirmed reports that it has been holding discussions with potential buyers.

After the published reports that federal regulators had "been quietly trying for several months" to find a buyer for troubled FCA, company officials stated that they had held "no meaningful discussion with anyone."

Within a few days, however, FCA said it was approached by a possible suitor and the savings and loan holding company began looking for an investment bank to advise it in the event of an acquisition. FCA eventually hired the research firm of Kaplan & Smith.

"That's life" at FCA, remarks Ursae Majoris, who said FCA stock could fall below his target price of $5 a share.

The New York Stock Exchange-listed issue doesn't have very far to go to get there: FCA closed Friday at $6.25 a share, up slightly from a new 12-month low of $6.125 a share reached earlier in the day. The issue had traded as high as $15.625 within the past year.

"If the stock pokes its head back over $8, jump on it," he said.

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